Larry Scott Goes In-Depth On Pac-12's Decision To Postpone
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the league made its decision to postpone fall sports "based on what we were hearing from our medical advisories," that there was just "not a high degree of comfort.” Scott noted the Pac-12 was due to start contact practice Aug. 17. Some of the medical recommendations "suggested that, given the spread of the virus in our communities and given increased risk factors for student-athletes, that was discouraged that we move to that step.” Scott said, "(If) we’re going to delay the start of training camp, we’re going to then have to delay the safe start of the season and … this doesn’t look it’s going to get better quick enough in our communities." Asked how much did the Big Ten decision to postpone the fall season impacted the Pac-12’s decision, Scott said, “I’ve been in touch with all the A-5 commissioners almost every day since March when we unfortunately had to shut down. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have a strong historic relationship … and we have similar values." Scott said of the possibility of playing a spring football season, “One thing that we’ve all learned through this health crisis is that things are evolving and changing fairly quickly and what you thought you knew a month ago you’re not so sure about today and we’re learning every step” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 8/12).
TESTING WAS KEY: Univ. of Oregon President Michael Schill, who chairs the Pac-12's CEO group, said, "The timelines weren’t going in the right direction." He added, "If we were going to do this responsibly or if we were going to do it responsibly, we would have to do a level of testing -- both COVID-19 testing and also potentially cardio MRIs -- that we weren’t sure we had the capacity to do. We don’t know what the testing resources are going to be. We have to do very frequent testing over the course of the season.” Schill said that it "wasn’t fair to athletes, athletic directors, coaches and fans to continue to string along the decision on fall football and other sports." He also "pointed out that the Pac-12 is spread over six states" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/13).
SPRING FLING? In San Jose, Jon Wilner notes the Pac-12 "will make the attempt" to play spring football "because the conference wants money, the fans want football, and the players want to play." The Pac-12's medical advisory team "listed six criteria for the resumption of competition and made no mention of a vaccine." But the advisors were "clear on two pieces of the coronavirus puzzle: Testing and community spread." The former "must improve, the latter must diminish" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 8/13).